“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” is a popular television series on Fox involving a robot that displays many Asperger traits. The whole gist of the story is this: Sarah Connor (Lena Headey) has a son, John (Thomas Dekker). John is being pursued by a Terminator that wants to destroy him. They recruit Cameron, a Terminator played by actress Summer Glau, who has been reprogrammed to help instead of hurt John (Good Terminator) and off they go running from the Bad Terminator and trying to figure out how to stop him. In between plots, there are love stories, adolescent angst, and plenty of robots getting blown up, shredded, burned, then putting themselves back together in a strange Humpty-Dumpty fashion and reactivating themselves to chase after John again. Pretty typical life for a teenage boy.

Cameron, the Good Terminator, follows John wherever he goes, including school. Although she is beautiful, it’s not long before John and everyone else who interacts with her realizes that she is a little bit “different.” She is supposed to be able to blend in and interact with real humans better than the other robots, but she has her, um, moments.

The following examples may not have been discussed yet, but all traits you’ll eventually see dissected on this site:

Telling the truth with brutal honesty without regarding the feelings of others:
High school bathroom with lots of teenager girls. One girl asks Cameron if she looks fat in the outfit. Cameron says of course she does and her reply results in a string of profanity from the girl seeking advice. Obviously surprised by the girl’s anger, Cameron reminds her, “You asked.”

Literal Interpretation or Misinterpretation of Phrases/Not Understanding pop culture or slang phrases:
Sarah, John, and Cameron are all getting into a vehicle. “I call shotgun,” John says, while getting in the front passenger seat. To which Cameron says, “I call nine millimeter.” (Which is probably what she’ll use to disable a Bad Terminator within the next 10 minutes of the scene.)

Using appropriate social skills or phrases, but not doing so smoothly. Timing is off, phrase is somewhat incorrect, or the social skill is right mannerism/wrong time:
Cameron is conducting a bank heist to access a special vault that will take them to another time. “Everybody on the ground,” she yells, brandishing a firearm. But remembering her programmed manners, she follows it up with (after a brief pause), “Please.”

Picks up a small boy by the collar, lifting him from the ground and tells him very sternly that there’s a chance the Bad Robots will kill him and his parents. (After all, he needs honesty.) When Sarah gives her the “What the hell are you doing,” reprimand, Cameron quickly remembers proper social rituals and asks the young boy, “Would you like a bedtime story?” Yeah, he’d probably like that. Along with being put back on the ground and dry pants, now that the ones he’s wearing are soaked with urine.

Needs to be reminded of personal space:
John (to Cameron): “When you talk to people, don’t stand so close.” Of course, there’s a practical explanation for this. Cameron (to John): “I’m assessing the threat level.” (Obviously. She needs to determine if it’s time to call nine millimeter.)

Image: William Hook on Flickr

4 Responses to “#25 Cameron, An Asperger-Like Robot From Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”

  1. MDP Says:

    Is it the terminator who resembles the aspie or the aspie who resembles the terminator…

  2. Mart Says:

    I’ve been working my way through this series for a few days. I think it’s pretty good and the caharacter I identify most with is Cameron. She’s on the outside looking in, different and trying not to be and so on. Just got to the episode “The Tower Is Tall But The Fall Is Short” in series 2 and what the psychologist said about Cameron made me laugh out loud. Spot on.

  3. Phil Says:

    The show was like “Terminator 2” meets the ’80s TV show, “Small Wonder.”
    The robot girl from the latter show also wouldn’t get figures of speech.

  4. Jiminy Says:

    Incidentally, has anyone noticed how wonderfully Aspie the character Abed on “Community” is?

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